- Great lens, image stabilization good, includes viewfinder, feature-packed
- Low-light performance isn't great, microphone placement not good,no mic jack, no hot shoe
- • • •
After 14 months with this camera, I know it well. I had a Lumix FZ series before this model. I think it was an fz-28. Anyway...
This camera can be as easy or as involved as you could want to go short of pro photography and many "pro" features are found on this model. The usual Lumix Intelligent mode is here and usually works just fine. Many options, including a high-frame burst mode are here as well as manual focus. Once you learn how (pushing the right button) you are in manual mode. Sometimes it takes a man or woman to do a computers job.
I have taken some really wonderful pictures with this camera. I have found its night limitations so I won't be taking it to photograph stars but it handles the moon, a very bright object wonderfully. On a tripod you hardly need a telescope to get great lunar shots.
The picture quality is sharp till the light gets low for any camera...in these situations the fz-40 does not excel yet I have seen worse. The lens on this camera can almost do it all. At extreme range it shows slight bluish distortion at the corners but unless you are trying you probably won't notice.
The camera has RAW output plus AVCHD lite capability. I recorded my own baptism with it and was thrilled with the quality...great picture and since the camera was on a tripod, untouched, good sound (wish an external mike was an option). The LCD is sharp, clear but fixed, no swiveling but a real (well, electronic but real, nonetheless) viewfinder, a wonderful invention many designers seem to forget more and more. To me it is essential at times.
This camera is no toy but easy-to-use the first day. Unless your photographic ambitions lie towards the semi-pro, the smitten hobbyist or a true professional you cannot go wrong with the Panasonic Lumix-DMC-40.
Panasonic has much newer and no doubt better cameras since I bought the above camera. If you find one for a fair price it is still new enough to impress!
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40 digital camera
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40 review: This super-zoom digital camera takes amazing photographs
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40 super-zoom digital camera brings a healthy serving of awesome to the table. It's a feature-packed advanced compact camera that's perfect for everyday use, and also for travelling.
- Excellent image quality, easy to use, good price, great battery life
- Mild pixelation and digital distortion in photographs taken in dull lighting without the flash
It is really refreshing to see a camera like this one on the market: The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40 is a well-rounded digital camera equipped with an impressive 24x optical zoom.
Price$ 649.00 (AUD)
The LUMIX DMC-FX40 has a 14-megapixel sensor, a 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica DC Vario-Elmarit f/2.8-5.2 lens, and a massive 24x optical zoom range. In layman's terms, it's a good camera.
The LUMIX DMC-FZ40 feels solid and sturdy, and it's surprisingly lightweight, too. Atop the LUMIX DMC-FZ40, there is a built-in pop-up flash and a stereo microphone for the camera's video mode. Right of the flash sit the mode dial, zoom rocker, record and focus buttons, and a power switch.
On the back of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40, you'll find a 3in LCD screen with a 230K dot resolution. Above it lies the electronic viewfinder, which we found somewhat painful to use due to its small size. We preferred the LCD. Beside the LCD screen are the obligatory navigational buttons, including delete/quick menu, timer, function, ISO, exposure compensation, menu/set, display, image play back, focus controls, EVF/LCD, AF/AE lock and a jog dial for manual control operation. There is nothing out of the ordinary.
The inner workings of this camera certainly come together to make a nice image. Unless you are a seasoned photographer used to something like a 5D Mark II or a Nikon D3x, you'll be blown away by how great the photos look. There is only mild pixelation and digital distortion in photographs taken in dull lighting without the flash, and noise can still be reduced either by using the flash or by using photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop CS5. Furthermore, chromatic aberration was almost nonexistent in most of out test photos.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40 makes it really hard not to take a decent photograph!
Images are crisp and vibrant, and you can choose from a wide range of excellent modes. We especially liked playing around with the 'my colour mode' where you can add colour filters to your shooting mode. For instance, when retro is selected the images are processed with an old-style filter over them, giving them that nostalgic look and feel.
Some examples of different filters.
The powerful 24x optical zoom will do wonders for aspiring spies, stalkers or bird watchers, and even sports fans and concert goers who want to take shots close to the action without leaving their seat.
"Hey, I wonder what brand that BBQ is? *zoom* Oh it's a grill master!"
With a lot of feature-loaded cameras out there on the market sacrificing the quality of one aspect of the unit in favour of another, it is really refreshing to see a camera like this one — everything seems to work wonderfully.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
- great handling, excellent zoom
- Poor image quality accross the board, but especially in low light.
- • • •
This is my third Lumix FZ series camera, and by far the worst. Anything above ISO200 and the photos show complete lack of quality, especially when viewed 1:1. Its just not a great superzoom.
Best Deals on PCWorld
- Digital CamerasView all »
- Digital VideoView all »
- NotebooksView all »
- Desktop PCsView all »
- TabletsView all »
Find the product you're looking for with our Digital Cameras search tool.